Representatives from a coalition of veteran Republican officials — including five who have either served as treasury secretary or as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers — met Wednesday with White House officials to discuss the idea of imposing a national carbon tax, rather than using federal regulations, to address climate change…The newly formed Climate Leadership Council — which includes James A. Baker, Henry Paulson, George P. Shultz, Marty Feldstein and Greg Mankiw — is proposing elimination of nearly all of the Obama administration’s climate policies in exchange for a rising carbon tax that starts at $40 per ton, and is returned in the form of a quarterly check from the Social Security Administration to every American.
The revenue-neutral “carbon fee and dividend” tax, as it is sometimes called, has been popular among economists for years. It has also been strongly embraced by some leading climate scientists, such as former NASA researcher James Hansen, and such advocacy groups as Citizens’ Climate Lobby. But never before have major Republican statesmen from past administrations aligned behind it as publicly as they’re doing now.Baker and his colleagues estimate that the average family of four would receive $2,000 annually in dividends from the fee if it starts at $40 per ton, and as the tax rises, so would their dividends. This would naturally create a constituency for ever-tougher climate change action. They also assert that the proposal would be fundamentally progressive because everyone would receive the same amount of revenue from the tax regardless of their income level, meaning the new source of income would make a bigger difference for poorer people than for wealthier ones.
A carbon tax is quintessentially conservative, Baker’s group argues, because it would not increase the size of government but would reduce it by canceling out President Barack Obama’s climate regulatory moves. Revenue from the carbon tax would go directly to taxpayers instead of toward new government programs…“This ticks every one of their boxes,” said Halstead. “It is pro growth, pro competition, pro jobs, deregulatory, and it will help the working-class voters that Trump promised to help.”
Note – How extraordinary is this?